Sobriety Isn't Cool
But neither is alcoholism.
I ask myself, sometimes, whether I was cooler before I got sober.
I try my best not to worry about it, but occasionally, I get in my head about this kind of thing. When I’m hanging out with friends who I met after getting sober, I wonder what they would have thought of me back when I was a drinker and a smoker. Would they have liked me better or worse?
A couple of years ago (but after I had quit drinking), a friend of mine was shocked that I recognized the band she was playing on her stereo. It was a little moment that I ended up over-analyzing too much. Why would she assume that I hadn’t heard of the band? Do I come across as out-of-touch or unhip now that I don’t drink? (The band was “A Tribe Called Red,” in case you’re curious.)
Looking back on it, I don’t think the interaction actually had anything to do with being sober whatsoever—at least not from the friend’s point of view. But, somehow, I ended up projecting my insecurities onto the brief exchange.
This friend had only ever met me after I got sober, and I wondered whether she would have reacted the same way if she had known me back when I was a drinker.
Do sober people project an image of being uncool? It’s something that has crossed my mind many times since I quit drinking.
In today’s edition of the newsletter, I’d like to talk about why I connected my drinking and smoking habits so strongly to my self-image, and how I’m learning to overcome my concerns about “being cool” since getting sober.
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